Breaking the Incubus? The Tripartite Free Trade Agreements and the Prospects of Developmental Integration in Africa

Chapter
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 71)

Abstract

The search for viable governance architecture and sustainable development strategies has seen African leaders make several attempts and policy pronouncements on forming integration arrangements on the continent. Major continental development agendas such as the Lagos Plan of Action and Final Act of Lagos of 1980, the Abuja Treaty of 1991 and the New Partnership for African Development, 2001, all had regional integration as major planks on which development processes should rest. However, due to a combination of several factors such as the paradox of narrow nationalism and pan-Africanism, which fuel divisions among African political elites on the best approach and sequence of integration, overlapping membership of regional economic communities, bondage of boundaries, preoccupation with the European integration theoretical approach and active efforts by Western powers to undermine the best efforts, regional integration has not taken root, neither has it delivered on its potential for development in Africa. However, in June 2015, three of the major regional economic communities in Africa, namely, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC) signed an agreement to form a Tripartite Free Trade Area, geared towards fostering higher intra-Africa trade. With a population of 632 million people, gross domestic product of about $1.2 trillion and a large land mass four times the size of Europe, the TFTA holds a huge but challenging potential for economic development on the continent. Can the TFTA break the incubus of unsuccessful integration efforts in Africa? What are the challenges and the prospects of the new agreement in terms of political will, institutional capacity and capital requirements to carry through the terms of the agreement? How can the African Union leverage on the historic agreement to foster both economic and non-economic integration on the continent? This chapter is located within the competing theories of regional integration. It employs the political economic analysis of transnationalism as well as ideational framework of pan-Africanism to interrogate the prospects as well as the challenges of integration in Africa through the lens of the TFTA. It concludes that regional integration has become imperative for achieving development on the continent, especially in the light of the decline in the visibility of the multilateral governance architecture of trade, the global revival of regional integrative arrangements between advanced countries and between them and developing countries, as well as the weak capacity of many of the states in Africa to foster development. The TFTA may yet provide a strong springboard on which the proposed Continental Free Trade Area and the African Economic Community could be built.

References

  1. Adedji, A. (2012). The travails of regional integration in Africa. In A. Adebajo & K. Whiteman (Eds.), The EU and Africa: From Eurafrique to afro-Europa (pp. 83–104). Johannesburg: Wits University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Ajulu, E. (2010). Introduction: A region in transition: Towards a new integration agenda in East Africa. In R. Ajulu (Ed.), A region in transition: Towards a new integration agenda in East Africa. Midrand: Trust Africa and Institute for Global Dialogue.Google Scholar
  3. Ake, C. (1980). The political economy of Africa. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  4. Ake, C. (1985). The state in contemporary Africa. In C. Ake (Ed.), Political economy of Nigeria (pp. 1–15). Lagos: Longman.Google Scholar
  5. Ake, C. (1996). Democracy and development in Africa. Dakar: CODESRIA.Google Scholar
  6. Amin, S. (2002). Africa living on the fringe. Monthly Review, 53, 41–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Asante, S. (1995). Pan Africanism and regional integration in Africa. In A. Mazrui (Ed.), General history of Africa (pp. 724–743). Oxford: James Currey.Google Scholar
  8. Buzan, B. (1986). A framework for regional security analysis. In L. Ohllson (Ed.), Case studies of regional conflict and conflict resolutions resolution. Goteberg: Padrigu Paper.Google Scholar
  9. Collier, P., & Venables, T. (2008). Trade and economic performance: Does Africa’s fragmentation matter? Cape Town: Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics. June.Google Scholar
  10. Cutler, A., Haufler, V., & Porter, T. (Eds.). (1999). Private authority and international affairs. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  11. Draper, P. (2013). Breaking free from Europe: Why Africa needs another model of regional integration. In L. Fioramonti (Ed.), Regionalism in a changing world: Comparative perspectives in the new global order. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Erasmus, G., & Harzenberg, T. (2012). Introduction. In G. Erasmus & T. Harzenberg (Eds.), The tripartite trade area: Towards a new African integration paradigm? Stellenbosch: Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa.Google Scholar
  13. Gana, A. (1985). The state in Africa: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. International Political Science Review, 6(1), 115–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gibb, R. (2009). Regional integration and development trajectory: Meta-theories, expectations and reality. Third World Quarterly, 30(4), 701–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harrison, J. (2006). Re-reading the new regionalism: A sympathetic critique. Space and Polity, 10(1), 21–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Iheduru, O. (2012). Regional integration and the private authority of banks in West Africa. International Studies Review, 14, 273–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ki-Zerbo, J. (2005). African intellectuals, nationalism and pan Africanism: A testimony. In T. Mkandawire (Ed.), African intellectuals: Rethinking politics, language, gender and development. Dakar/London: CODESRIA and Zed Books.Google Scholar
  18. Lake, D. (2010). Rightful rules: Authority, order, and the foundations of global governance. International Studies Quarterly, 54, 587–613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lee, M. (2003). The political economy of regionalism in Africa. Cape Town: UCT Press.Google Scholar
  20. Mamdani, M. (1996). Citizens and subjects: Contemporary Africa and the legacy of late colonialism. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Mansfield, H., & Milner, H. (Eds.). (1997). The political economy of regionalism. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Mazrui, A. (1999). Seek ye first the political kingdom. In A. Mazrui (Ed.), General history of Africa (pp. 105–126). Oxford: James Currey.Google Scholar
  23. Meyn, M. (2012). In A. Adebajo & K. Whiteman (Eds.), An anatomy of the economic partnership agreements in The EU and Africa: From Eurafrique to Afro-Europa. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Mitrany, D. (1966). A working peace system. Chicago: Quadrangle Books.Google Scholar
  25. Mongenthau, H. (1948). Politics among nations: The struggle for power and peace. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  26. Nabudere, D. (2001). The African renaissance and globalisation: New perspectives on African unity and integration. In I. Mandaza & D. Nabudere (Eds.), Pan-Africanism and integration in Africa. Zimbabwe: SAPES Trust.Google Scholar
  27. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. (2013). Decolonial epistemic perspective and pan-African unity in the 21st century. In M. Munchie, P. Lukhele-Olorunju, & O. Akpor (Eds.), The African union ten years after (pp. 385–409). Pretoria: African Institute of South Africa.Google Scholar
  28. Nkrumah, K. (1963). Africa must unite. London: Panaf Books.Google Scholar
  29. Nyamnjoh, F. (2006). Insiders and outsiders: Citizenship and xenophobia in contemporary Southern Africa. Dakar: CODESRIA.Google Scholar
  30. Nye, J. (1987). Peace in parts: Integration and conflicts in regional organization. New York: Little, Brown and Co..Google Scholar
  31. Nye, J., & Donahue, J. (Eds.). (2000). Governance in a globalizing world. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  32. Oloruntoba, S. (2016a). Regionalism and integration in Africa: EU-ACP economic partnership agreements and euro-Nigeria relations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Oloruntoba, S. (2016b). ECOWAS and regional integration in West Africa: From state to private authority. History Compass, 14(7), 295–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Prah, K. (1999). In M. Malegapuru & W. Makgoba (Eds.), African renaissance or warlordism? In: African Renaissance (pp. 37–61). Cape Town: Mafube.Google Scholar
  35. Prah, K. (2001). African unity, pan-Africanism and the dilemmas of regional integration. In D. Nabudere & I. Mandaza (Eds.), Pan Africanism and integration in Africa. Harare: SAPES Books.Google Scholar
  36. Prah, K. (2006). The Africa nation. Cape Town: CASS.Google Scholar
  37. Schulz, M., Soderbaum, F., & Ojendal, J. (2001). Introduction. In M. Schulz, F. Soderbaum, & J. Ojendal (Eds.), Regionalization in a globalizing world: A comparative perspective on forms, actors and processes (pp. 1–17). London/New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  38. Shivji, I. (1980). The state in the dominated social formations of Africa: Some theoretical issues. International Social Science Journal, 32(4), 730–742.Google Scholar
  39. Taylor, I. (2014). Africa rising? BRICS-diversifying dependency. London: James Currey.Google Scholar
  40. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). (2012). Assessing regional integration in Africa. Addis Ababa: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.Google Scholar
  41. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). (2013). Eighth session of the committee on trade, regional cooperation and integration. Report on international and intra-Africa trade. UNECA: Addis Ababa.Google Scholar
  42. Vayrynen, R. (2003). Old and new regionalism. International Studies Review, 5(1), 25–51. https://www.tralac.org/images/Resources/Tripartite_FTA/Third_Tripartite_Summit_Communique_10062015.pdf. Accessed 22 Sept 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zeleza, P. (1993). A modern history of Africa Vol. 1: The nineteen century. Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers in association with CODESRIA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, University of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations